Well, the family is all mixed up about tearing down my grandmother’s house. I think it can be lived in, but nobody seems to want to take the time to give it some TLC. I was quick to remind my son, who in his youthful haste said that it does need to be torn down, that it is hard to fathom that when so many little feet trotted across the white and gold linoleum floor of her living room over the decades–including mine and his.
My Grannie made us all go to church with her. I didn’t like that stand, sit, stand, pray, sit, stand ritual–especially with long songs between stages. The preaching did not bother me though. The preacher we had would weave stories that kept us thinking and reflecting. We did not get bored and fall asleep with him. Grannie told stories about her youth also. My sons were blessed to hear some of her stories also. She told us all many stories of her childhood–and it is my youngest son, Kevin, who seems to have the memory of an elephant because he retells them once in a while–as does Brian and Eric. Now my mother is sharing hers with us–along with Grannie’s so I guess you can say we have a rich oral history being handed down.
I can remember times when over 30 people would show up for Easter Sunday Dinner. The smell of chocolate pies and her porcupine meatballs seemed to be luring the horde of relatives in from places unknown on that day of the year. She served different types of food, and would often have worked on the meal since pre-dawn. She would have a huge pan of meatballs, and later would have an even bigger pan of chicken and dressing. I loved potato salad and deviled eggs…There was always homemade macaroni and cheese–until Kraft came out with a good, convenient alternative. As usual, I could help get things and lick the bowl and/or the spoon!
Once the horde arrived, the adults ate in the dining room (in shifts–taking turns) while the kids were in the living room. Grannie would often wait on everyone until the last person ate, and then she would sit down with her red, white and blue goblet full of iced tea and a plate. Once she did that, everyone helped themselves, unless one of my aunts decided to do that to keep traffic down in her tiny kitchen.
I remember when she painted the floor of the kitchen. It is dark green with yellow. Looking at it now, it is so hard to fathom how so many people could get through it to get to the dining room because it is tiny. I remember sleeping through many a Texas thunderstorm on her bed. The sound of the rain on the tin roof made it so relaxing to me. There are times I wish that I could go back to those days–especially when my Grandpa Ainsworth was still among us.
Often I couldn’t reach the eggs hidden in trees higher than I could reach so he would lift me up to get them. We would sit by the truck and eat a couple of eggs before the hunt was over and headed back to the house. By four o’clock, people were eating again–if not still napping! All of us (the kids) rode in the back of the pickup truck. There were no laws against it then, and depending on how the driver is behaving, you will not find a lot of policemen in that area saying much about it now because that might be the only vehicle a family of six owns in many places. It is their sole mode of transportation and their work-truck 9 times out of 10.
Sometimes we’d stop at Mann’s Grocery to get a soda. Then we’d get turned loose out in the yard, and sometimes we’d make ourselves sick eating so many mulberries or green plums off of the trees from my other grandmother’s house across the street. Yes, some of the kids liked the green plums. Not me…Now the grapes were another story. I would really chow down on those–and ruin my supper every time, but Grannie didn’t say much because it was fruit and not the candy bars…Besides, after running off all that energy, we’d eat again in about an hour anyway. My oldest brother would have dinner at Grannie’s–and then go across the street to my other grandmother’s house and eat again! Where the heck he put all that is beyond me to this day!
I found some pictures of myself from when I was little that I will share one day when I can scan them. I was wearing dresses my mother and Grannie had made for me for school. I often wonder what happened to that little girl in those pictures. I also wonder if there are porcupine meatballs in Heaven…If there are, I’ll beat my brothers to her door when I get there~!
I miss her right now and no one will ever be able to fill her shoes or the void that her being gone has left in my life. I cherish those memories. Make sure you keep record of those for your families too–whatever your faith may be or whatever special days you have together. You only have them once. I hope you all had a blessed day and will have many more to follow.